Sixteen active wildfires are currently raging across California — threatening homes and lives as firefighters race to contain them.
The blazes, which stretch from San Diego County to Southern Oregon, have already claimed 8 lives, and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, according to TIME.
The largest, known as the Carr fire, is burning near the city of Redding, and has scorched more than 110,000 acres as of Tuesday. It’s also the deadliest, having claimed 6 lives, including three members of the same family — a 70-year-old woman and her two great-grandchildren — and two firefighters, since it started last week. TIME notes that at just 27% contained, it’s likely to become the largest wildfire in the state’s history.
A second fire is drawing national attention for the threat it poses to Yosemite National Park. The park was evacuated last Wednesday and closed for the first time in 20 years as the largely uncontained (33%) flames threatened the valley.
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Though wildfires have many causes, especially during the dry summer and fall months in California, one blaze seems to have a more sinister origin. A man who is accused of setting one of the fires in Cranston was arrested last week on several counts of arson. His bail was set at $1 million, the Desert Sun reported. He remained in jail on Friday, when he was expected to appear in court.
The ongoing natural disaster has also brought people together for good. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri helped to feed hundreds of people in need, including first responders and victims of the fires.
He told CNN on Sunday that he was working “arm in arm” with a team of 20 volunteers, the Salvation Army, Operation Barbecue Relief, local chefs and residents to feed people from a “makeshift kitchen” they set up in a trailer in the Shasta College parking lot, which is acting as a shelter to evacuees.
The National Interagency Fire Center reports there are 88 large wildfires burning across the U.S., including 11 in Alaska and 15 in Oregon.